What staff enjoy about working here:

“It’s always difficult starting somewhere new: new faces and new names to learn. However, the staff and students at King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls have made my transition a breeze. One of the first things I noticed was how dedicated and focused the girls are- they ask questions because they have a genuine love for learning, they are interested and interesting- this makes them an absolute pleasure to teach. The staff are welcoming and approachable- all resources and help is readily at hand. I am loving my time here! Working in such a stunning building is also a huge bonus!”

Tracy Goodyear, Head of English

“Having been at my last school for thirteen years the decision to move to Kind Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls was a big one. Right from the beginning I was made to feel very welcome. There is an excellent induction programme for new staff and the students are a delight to teach. This is a good place to develop as a professional”.

Andrew Freer, Head of Economics and EPQ Coordinator

“I was welcomed to King Edward VI Handsworth as a trainee teacher. All staff and students were friendly and helpful. I very quickly felt part of an exciting and diverse community where learning is at the heart of everyday school life. I was delighted to gain a full time teaching post where I build on my own experience through a useful and regular CPD programme and career development opportunities. I enjoy every part of school life, including assemblies and extracurricular performances/activities. It is great to be part of a school that promotes lifelong learning and I look forward to developing multiple skills at King Edward VI Handsworth”.

Alice Walters, Teacher of Art

“Joining the KE community has been a very positive experience for me. I have found the students to be very polite and well mannered. In lessons, they are enthusiastic, focussed and hardworking, motivated towards success. The extra-curricular opportunities for students are excellent, allowing them to develop as well rounded individuals. Settling into a new work environment can be daunting, but everyone at KE has been very supportive and the staff have been very friendly and welcoming.”

Jon Whitehead, Head of Chemistry

“The staff have been particularly helpful in bringing me up to speed on the school systems and what to do if… scenarios. Students are hard-working and resilient, ready and eager to embrace challenge. I have also been very impressed with how inclusive the school feels, and the close-knit friendships apparent amongst the girls. The induction programme was also very thorough with a good support structure in place”

David Thomson, Head of German

“From the moment I arrived at King Edward VI Handsworth, I have been made to feel so welcome by the staff and students. The atmosphere here is really something special, and it is so rewarding to work somewhere that hard work is appreciated – almost every day someone somewhere says thank you for a job well done. The girls are so keen to learn and are enthusiastic about their learning journey here, that although it is a challenge to come up with new ways to inspire and engage them, it is always worth the effort to see them so switched on to the learning process. I have also been lucky enough to be involved in extra-curricular activites, like the joint school show with KE Aston. The time and effort put in by everyone involved with the show was truly immense, and it was inspiring to see such motivation from a dedicated team of staff and students. I hope to continue to enjoy working here for so time to come!”

Helen Russell, Head of Drama

“As a new recruit, I found the rest of the staff very friendly and welcoming. On my first day, both the Headmistress and the Deputy Head spent some time with me and many of the support staff offered to help me with various things ranging from photocopying to how to find a pupil’s timetable and informal training on the IT systems. Over the following few days, many people checked how I was getting on and repeated their offers of help.”

Helen Felton, Student Support Officer

“I was delighted to be appointed as a teacher of English at King Edward’s VI Handsworth School for Girls. One of the first things I noticed was that the students smile! They have a genuine affection for the school, are keen to learn and have high expectations of you and themselves. Even as an experienced teacher, it is always tricky moving somewhere new but the staff and the English department in particular have been very supportive. Even though people are incredibly busy, they will make time to check how you are getting on and answer any questions you have. The teaching resources in place are excellent. There is a vitality about the school and a very strong shared ethos. Working in such a beautiful building is also a fantastic bonus.”

Emma Gallagher, Teacher of English

“Both the staff and pupils have a drive and passion for education, which creates a positive learning environment. Teachers are incredibly enthusiastic about their subjects and this rubs off on the girls who seem to genuinely enjoy their lessons and being stretched and challenged to achieve the best they can. This makes the school a really rewarding place to work.”

Trudy Kirby, Head of Biology

“The staff and students are so friendly and welcoming that it didn’t take long to settle into the school. I’ve had opportunities to get involved in all aspects of school life (like running basketball club at lunchtimes or taking Year 7 on a residential weekend). The department is also fantastic at sharing ideas and interesting ways to teach lessons so it makes planning fun. The girls here are also really eager to learn and willing to take on new challenges so are a joy to teach.”

Mariyum Waqar, Teacher of Mathematics

“I came to work at the school five years ago, taking up the post as Head of English for the first time. It was a steep learning curve, however, what counterbalanced the hard work, was the fact that I could actually teach my subject to enthusiastic, responsive students who wanted to do well. Behaviour was and never has been an issue.

Since then over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to be part of the leadership team on a year’s sabbatical and undertake an Aspiring Leadership course. When I wanted to expand my experience further last year, I became involved with local primary schools in the area and this has become my remit whilst in post as a temporary Assistant Head this year. Over the past year I have worked with so many different types of people, whether primary school teachers and pupils or professional writers and media agencies.

People say, you get out as much as you put in, and I have to say that King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls, really does enable everyone, staff and pupils alike, to be life long learners.”

Jane Glendenning, Assistant Head and Head of English

“King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls is a most rewarding, challenging and supportive place to work. As a new member to the Senior Leadership Team I have been made to feel most welcome by all areas of the school community. I have been involved in decisions from day one and offered help to find all that I need from staff, students and governors alike. The students are very keen to learn, curious in a good way about new staff and I have already seen them in action with various charity and community activities. Within the first month they have raised money by dressing up and baking cakes, offered their time to give tours to prospective students and been involved in outreach programmes. Staff work hard and give of their time willingly to help and support students and the number of enrichment activities and excursions is exceptional. Making the decision to move up the career ladder or to change schools is never easy but this has been a great one!”

Jacqueline Kendall, Deputy Head


“Since starting in September I have been made to feel very welcome and supported at Handsworth. As an NQT I was nervous about changing schools, but the staff here have been amazing! My department are in constant contact with one another during teaching of topics to share resources and good teaching practice. The girls enjoy their subjects, and ask insightful questions to help improve their understanding of a particular topic. There is a very positive atmosphere around the school, which is a pleasure to be a part of”.

Heather Pullin, Teacher of Biology

“It’s been a pleasure teaching such engaged and enthusiastic students in amazing facilities. Colleagues are always supportive and willing to go the extra mile to help you out and there’s always someone to bounce new ideas off. Every lesson you teach makes you a better teacher!”

Andrew Bailey, Teacher of Biology

New staff induction has been timely, thorough and helpful. All staff are so friendly. The girls make teaching and learning a daily joy.

Claudia Gardner, Teacher of French

The school allows you the freedom to teach how you want to get the most out of the girls. Risk taking is promoted and CPD is personalised to allow teachers to develop their own teaching interests.
Staff are friendly and always willing to help and collaboration between teachers and departments is encouraged.

Ewan Mclntosh, Head of Music

From the moment I arrived at King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls, the thirst for knowledge, dedication to learning and drive to do well was apparent. This coupled with the warmth of staff and pupils in a stunning and supportive environment makes teaching here every day an absolute joy. In addition to timetabled sessions, there are also many extra-curricular opportunities for students to broaden their experiences and challenge themselves in different ways, as well as following up on genuine interests and hobbies.

Emma Lock, Teacher of Biology

I was told by a number of staff and pupils as part of the application process what a wonderful place Handsworth was to work… Although I knew that this was likely to be the case after visiting a number of times, I wasn’t prepared for being quite so bowled over by wonderful attitudes of the girls and the ongoing support I have received from staff. Pupils are conscientious, caring and show enormous ambition. Staff throughout the school have been very welcoming and the induction programme that I have been receiving has been relevant and thorough. Making the leap to join Handsworth was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.

Sophie Lester, Head of Art

Pupils, when asked ‘Why do you like your school?’ said:

“We are given many wonderful opportunities that enhance our learning”.

“I love my school not just because it is one of the top schools in the country but because of the ways it has been formed; the teachers, pupils, lessons, facilities and opportunities are what makes my school amazing”.

“They encourage us to try new things and take risks”.

“Being surrounded by other girls that also want to do well and teachers that don’t just want you to learn but develop a passion for learning definitely makes you feel inspired.”.

“It’s not just about learning here, it’s about finding new friends, hobbies and talents too; that’s what makes our school different”.

“They encourage us to try new things and take risks”.

“King Edward VI Handsworth School is unique in the sense that the atmosphere, teaching and general wellbeing of the school is positive and quite different from any other; this allows pupils to both strive in its individuality, but also learn from it.”.

“King Edward VI Handsworth School for me isn’t just school, it’s a more of an academic home.”.

“What I enjoy most about my school is the controlled yet enjoyable learning environment.”.

“Every lesson I have here I enjoy, something that I never expected! I have found a new love for languages”.

“Meeting new people, making new friends. The ability to have a successful education opening a wide variety of opportunities for the future”.

“Coming to this school has made me realise all the opportunities that are open to me – the teachers make sure that you work to the best of your ability but are still really supportive when you need help”.

“The welcoming atmosphere and welcoming community would make anyone feel at home”.

“Despite such diversity of backgrounds there is a remarkable sense of unity within our school which was evident from the very start of the first year”.

“When I came to Handsworth I realised that diversity was not just a dance troupe.”

“The best aspect of the school is the unwavering support we are given by fellow students and members of staff to ensure our education and citizenship are as sound as they can be.”

“There is a wide range of extra-curricular activities during and after school hours which are both challenging and enjoyable”.

“They keep us active and motivated throughout all of our lessons. It’s really fun!!”

“There are many opportunities to try new things”.

“Everybody at this school works well together and everybody is kind to each other. This is a great school”.

“Some teachers make harder lessons easier to learn”.

“What I like best about school is the chance to receive a good education”.

“Education is what’s left when all else has been forgotten”.

“One point I like about school is learning. School teaches valuable learning skills which are essential for university as well as later life”.

“Excellent education in a friendly atmosphere”.

“I like coming to school because education is the key to success”.

“They keep me focused and on track because they take my education seriously”.

“I love the feeling of being a King Edward’s girl – nothing beats that pride”.

“The fabulous teachers”.

“By far the best thing about this school is the ease at which you make friends fit into the friendly atmosphere and adapt to the engaging teaching style. I am truly proud to be a King Edward’s girl”.

“I value the friendly atmosphere and the fact that the teachers are always there to help”.

“You meet a range of people from all different backgrounds”.

“The building is very unique”.

“There is a vast range of extra-curricular activities”.

“The classrooms are bright and colourful and a good learning environment”.